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Best CLIP OF PROMOTION OF A CITY. Angry that Newsweek magazine called them "ghost town", residents of a small American town have astonished the world with THEIR RESPONSE

Posted on: June 2, 2011

Don’t mess with Grand Rapids.

If you do, the lower Michigan city may fight back with a music video.

Some 3,000 residents of the town, both locally famous and unknown, banded together to make an epic YouTube video – a ‘lip dub’ of lip syncing to Don McLean’s classic song ‘American Pie’ – in response to a negative article.

In January, a post on Newsweek’s website listed Grand Rapids as No. 10 on a list of ‘America’s dying cities’.

The response video is said to have been produced in one unedited take, and it features a colourful cast of characters ambling through downtown Grand Rapids, part of which was blocked off for the taping.

Musicians, both apparently real and pretend, strum guitars, while memorable appearances are made by cheerleaders, a football team, yoga enthusiasts, a wedding party, police and fire vehicles and two squads with water guns.

The video is also said to include local ‘entertainers, political figures media celebrities’.

The lip synching itself ranges from right on to barely intelligible, though most of the physical timing is pretty tight.

In several instances, actions on screen were choreographed with the song’s lyrics.

For example, after the Don McClean tune mentions a pickup truck, two young people are shown riding in the back of a vintage model.

When the song intones ‘the marching band refused to yield’, a full band takes the street in Grand Rapids, decked out in crisp green uniforms and playing their instruments.

Toward the end of the video, as the song said ‘as the flames climb high’, fireworks went off on a nearby bridge.

After that, a helicopter gives a bird’s eye view of the crowds of lip dubbers, while a message written on a lawn reads: ‘Experience Grand Rapids’.

DECLINING CITIES’
This list of ‘top 10’ U.S. cities in decline was posted on Newsweek.com in January, and prompted the Grand Rapids response video this week:
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
2. Vallejo, California
3. Hialeah, Florida
4. Rochester, New York
5. Cleveland, Ohio
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
7. Detroit, Michigan
8. South Bend, Indiana
9. Flint, Michigan
10. Grand Rapids, Michigan

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